BE SURE TO
Your health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance,
especially in the world of business! Be sure to
understand how to look after your health, as this can
have a huge effect on your work ethic.
coach, Anna Jester, shares her
advice on what makes a great leader in a
A GREAT LEADER
HOW IMPORTANT IS
Ensuring that all your collateral is on brand
is key for business continuity - including
all your business photography.
ALL ABOARD THE
Ecommerce is ever growing - it can be a great way
to build your business.
Photography courtesy of Laurence Jones Photography
FOR ALL YOUR CORPORATE,
INCENTIVE AND BRAND
SPEAK TO THE
We're here for all your sock needs, from
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Welcome to Spring 2021 and slightly surprised to find snow on the ground today! Just
goes to show that we should never be too surprised when life and nature throw us a few
surprises and challenges we weren't expecting. I am especially delighted to see so many
businesses excitedly reopening following the easing of trading restrictions and wish them
all massive success!
Fantastic to have you enjoying the April 2021 issue of Talk Business Magazine and our
ongoing thanks to the amazing iPlus Media team for pulling it all together.
A few new features this month including the Meet the Business and Meet the Member
articles. We love to showcase the brilliant individuals and businesses that are in the Talk
Business family and having the opportunity to highlight the inspiring Tidal Training
business and also the fascinating work of Hana Smiddy who juggles a property business
and a flying club! If you feel we could feature your business then please let us know.
Once again we have a video link to one of the Thrive on Thursday sessions we hosted
recently. This time we have Neil Morgan taking us through the Branding Process.
We have a wide range of topics covered including leadership, health, motivation and
features on ecommerce and the Kickstart scheme. Our thanks to all the Talk Business
members for generously sharing their knowledge and experience with us.
Talk Business UK is a membership organisation that develops and organises events and
experiences to help local businesses and organisations from all sectors and sizes to
connect and create opportunities to build long term and meaningful business
We would love you to be part of this family.
DIRECTOR AT TALK BUSINESS UK
How to stay healthy and boost your immune system ... 06
Thrive on Thursday ... 08
The Kickstart Scheme ... 10
Building the future; motivating yourself with compassion ... 12
8 ways to be a brilliant leader in a post-pandemic world ... 13
Meet the Member ... 18
Why Print? ... 20
What is personal branding photography? ... 23
April’s Business Showcase ... 25
SaddleUp ... 26
All Aboard The Ecommerce Train ... 31
Talk Business Members Directory ... 33
No material may be reproduced in any way, or translated, without written permission of the
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that adverts and articles appear correctly, but Talk
Business Magazine cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused directly or indirectly
by the contents of the publication.
The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of its publisher or editor.
COPYRIGHT © 2021
Talk Business Magazine is published by iPlus Media.
Editorial & Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 01789 330 003 | Website: www.talkbusinessuk.co.uk
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HOW TO STAY
.. AND BOOST YOUR
As the return to work gathers momentum in
re-opening Britain (again) for business,
staying healthy is our main focus in these
What is the best advice for keeping your
immune system healthy and functioning at its
best to help fight viruses?
As in ‘normal times’ the advice is pretty
much the same: ensure you have adequate
rest and sleep, exercise regularly, eat well,
and stay hydrated. But eating the right foods
and drinking the recommended daily intake
of fluids are particularly vital.
DID YOU KNOW..
..that 70% of your immune system is
based in the gut, so boosting your
immune health through good nutrition,
proper rest and good hydration is
important to help fight off infection?
How can I eat healthier?
Vitamin and minerals — particularly A, C and
E, as well as zinc — play an important role in
keeping the immune system strong so that it
can fight off any germs and illness. Consider
your plate of food and make sure each meal
contains a balanced mix of vegetables and
lean meats or fish, combined with dairy and
healthy fats, and this should deliver what you
need to help keep your immune system
Prebiotic and probiotic foods support a
healthy gut flora, and this is why it’s
important to eat foods such as fruits,
vegetables, kefir products and yogurts.
Why water is best
Your body needs fluids and electrolytes to
function at its best, especially when you are
suffering symptoms like a fever, coughing,
diarrhea and sickness, which can easily
dehydrate you. Proper rehydration helps
with illness recovery.
Healthy hydration levels can also help your
nose by maintaining the health of the
mucous membrane and decreasing irritation
when coughing and sneezing.
Rehydration drinks and sachets with
electrolytes are readily available in the
supermarket or pharmacy and good to take
relieve symptoms associated with
illness-related mild to moderate dehydration
to replace those lost fluids.
Fizzy drinks and those with a lot of sugar like
sports drinks are not such good choices for
sorting dehydration symptoms resulting
from illness because of their higher sugar
content which can make stomach issues
worse. Plus, sugar is bad for you for other
Plumbed in water coolers and fountains
provide excellent ways to keep your team
topped up. With a small footprint most
brands deliver over 100 cups of chilled
water per hour and comes as a free standing
or desktop model. Instant boiling taps also
do cold and sparkling water as you want it –
3 and 4 in 1 taps do it all.
So, to take the best care of yourself when
returning to the workplace don’t miss meals
or forget to refill your reusable or glass at
the office water cooler. Good nutrition,
hydration, rest and exercise will all help
boost your immunity and help to keep you
If you are in need of some PR work for your B2B or
B2C business then get in touch with Pentacom
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Thrive on Thursday talks have been created to help you and your business take
advantage of the knowledge of leaders in their fields and to grow in your business.
As part of the Thrive on Thursday Marketing sessions, I recently completed a
presentation on ‘The Branding Process’. Brand and branding are issues which affect
businesses of all sizes and it is important that we understand the process.
How does branding fit within your brand journey? What research and planning
should we consider before branding or re-branding? What are the elements that
make branding memorable and successful? What is the importance of the
implementation stage? Why do we need to constantly review the impact of our
branding? These are all questions which are tackled in this presentation.
For those of you who could not make the recent session, you can see my
BE THE LEADER
your eight-year-old self would want you to be
“Working with Anna grew my knowledge around leadership exponentially, enabled
me to recognise my existing values and strengths and build on them – it has
transformed my perception of leadership and of myself.”
VP of finance, global manufacturing company
07802 294 857
WHAT IS THE
The Kickstart scheme is an idea that the
UK government put forward in September
2020, the idea is to help 16 to 24 year
olds, who are on universal credit and at
risk of long-term employment, to gain
relevant work experience and
employability support to help them get
into long-term work as soon as possible.
An initial £2 billion has been provided for
this scheme, and there will not be a cap
on the number of places available, this £2
billion is intended to provide funding for
over 250,000 Kickstart jobs.
The scheme runs until December 2021 at
present but it is expected that the scheme
will be extended beyond that date due to
the significant take up so far.
The most recent statistics from 4th
earch-briefings/cbp-8965/) show that
since the kickstart scheme was launched
over 100,000 job placements had been
approved and over 2,000 young people
had started jobs.
As well as SMEs a number of large
companies have taken part in the kickstart
scheme, companies such as Amey who
have created 60 vacancies and Marks and
Spencer's have created 360 kickstart
vacancies. Excitingly for some lucky
Kickstart employees, our very own local
premiership rugby team, Gloucester, have
also decided to take part in the Kickstart
scheme and they have a number of
vacancies for 16 to 24 year olds to come
and join them in various roles.
Pleasure in the job puts
perfection in the work.
What does the Kickstart Scheme cost?
Each Kickstart placement lasts 6 months
and the DWP will fund the Kickstart
employee’s salary for 25 hours per week
at the appropriate minimum wage for
their age. Employers can choose to top
much more smoothly and more quickly,
employers are already appreciating the
benefits of the Kickstart scheme even more
and the Kickstart employees are getting the
benefits of the experience, working and
getting employability training to help them
stay off benefits and in long term work.
up the pay and the hours themselves if they
wish but it is not a requirement to provide
any more than 25 hours work per week.
The employers have a responsibility to
provide employability training to their
Kickstart employees which is funded from
the £1,500 grant provided by the
government to each Kickstart employer. As
well as training, the grant is also expected to
cover the cost of equipment, uniforms,
management time, HR costs and other costs
associated with taking on your new
Kickstarter. The Job Guru provides a full
package of training and support services
that have been approved for use by
companies taking part in the Kickstart
Scheme, (for more information please get in
touch by email or visit
Taking on a Kickstart Employee should be
cost neutral at the very least and should
provide a benefit to the business through
having an extra pair of hands working for the
business at no additional cost.
Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented
number of applications the DWP have
struggled to efficiently manage the process
which has left employers disillusioned with
the Kickstart scheme. However, it was to be
expected that they would be teething
troubles with something like this scheme,
especially as the Kickstart scheme is a
completely new idea, it was created at short
notice and at a time when resources were
limited anyway. These teething problems are
being rectified and the process is running
Changes have been made to the Kickstart
scheme already, at the start of February the
government removed the limit of a minimum
of 30 kickstart placements per application
which forced small businesses to group
together or to use gateway organisations to
put an application in. Now employers can
submit an application directly themselves for
one or more vacancies this is a much
simplified process from an employer’s point
of view, they don't need to go through a
third party Gateway, the grant funding is
paid directly to themselves and they have
more control and more awareness about
what is happening. It will be interesting to
see what further changes will be made over
the next few months because the scheme
certainly has a lot of potential benefits for
both employers and for young people who
are claiming universal credit and want to
make sure that they can get back into
More support is now available to Employers
wishing to take part in the Kickstart scheme,
for example to make it easier to apply to
take part in the Kickstart scheme the DWP
have created a page on their website with
tips on completing the application
Companies such as The Job Guru
providing additional support with webinars
providing information about the scheme,
helping with the application process and
providing HR support and Employability
training that is required under the scheme.
For more information about the scheme please join
our next webinar www.thejobguru.eventbrite.co.uk,
or you can learn more by:
visiting www.thejobguru.co.uk/kickstart-scheme or
getting in touch at email@example.com
MOTIVATING YOURSELF WITH COMPASSION
This has certainly been a year like no other.
With the effects of the pandemic still
difficult for many businesses, uncertainly
and upheaval will continue to play a huge
part in our lives. Many will face the task of
rebuilding or rebranding their business and
the motivation required to do this can be
difficult to access in the face of the fatigue
we are all experiencing.
Many of us have learned to motivate
ourselves in a highly competitive and
individualised world by being hard on
ourselves and in many ways this strategy
may have been rewarded, though at what
cost? Research has shown that practicing
self-compassion, self-encouragement and
acting as your own ally or coach during
stressful times is a better indicator of
sustainable success than harsh self-criticism
which can set up a vicious cycle of a fear of
failure and inability to persevere and try
again. Perseverance and stickability are
qualities that are needed by all business
owners, especially now. The recovery phase
will also require a certain level of innovation
and creativity which are all hampered by the
unhelpful strategies of the inner critic who
generally compares us unfavourably to the
Some may fear that self-compassion will
make them weak, lazy or self-indulgent, but
the research shows that people with higher
levels of self-compassion are generally more
proactive and can create a sense of inner
safety which helps them to confront their
mistakes and failings, make positive changes
in their lives and continue to set themselves
There is more to self-compassion than being
kind. It is the motivation to be helpful and
not harmful and about developing the
courage to recognise and admit the
difficulties we face and the wisdom to know
how best to help ourselves through. It’s also
about recognising our shared common
humanity and that although at times we can
feel alone and be tempted to withdraw the
reality is that every successful business has
had its fair share of failings and mistakes. It’s
about developing the resources within
ourselves, to keep going through adversity.
Next time you notice your inner critic
discouraging you and demotivating you,
crank up the part of you that best knows
what you need to keep moving forward. The
wise part of you that has supported you
through other periods of difficulty. Talk to
yourself with encouraging tones just as you
would support a friend or fellow business
owner. The good news is that
self-compassion can be developed over
time and with consistent practice.
Kirsty Lilley is an experienced and award-winning
mental health trainer, coach and mindfulness teacher.
If you want to know more about Kirsty, head to her
LinkedIn page for her latest updates.
Connect with her today: https://bit.ly/3qz3fyE
WAYS TO BE A
8IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD
Whether we lead an organisation, a team, a project or a specific activity, lockdown has
thrown us a fair few curveballs. With so many of our ways to communicate, connect and
collaborate seemingly turned upside down, there’s been a lot of talk during the
pandemic about the need for a total re-think on how we lead.
However, when we look at the leaders (in all walks of life) who have done a brilliant job
throughout the last 12 months or so, from where I’m standing their leadership approach
hasn't had to change at all. Granted, it might have been delivered slightly differently but
it’s remained entirely focused on the age-old principles of leading others that have never
actually changed (and probably never will).
A TIMELESS RECIPE FOR LEADING OTHERS
In all of the work we do to support successful people to become brilliant leaders, we focus
on eight key ingredients which, together, form a timeless recipe for leading others.
So what are the eight ingredients?
Whether we’re in a pandemic, an economic crisis or a market boom, when these eight
ingredients work hand in hand, the magic happens all round. Leaders feel confident and
informed, teams feel valued and empowered and organisations flourish and fly.
Jester Consulting’s website is having a facelift
ahead of some exciting news next month so get
in touch with the team to find out more:
YOU - uniquely you on your A-Game
Any leader can only be a brilliant leader when they understand who they are and
how that determines the way they lead. As a leader, what are your superpowers
(AKA big strengths)?
What are your values and beliefs? Where are you vulnerable and where do you
need help? This is the ONLY starting point on any leadership journey and results
in authentic leaders who are valued, respected and loved.
HUMAN - human connection trumps all
The pandemic has led to the biggest blend of
personal and professional in history - so
many of us have literally taken our work into
our front rooms, opening up visibility of so
much more of our lives and families than ever
The immediate move to normalise and
embrace this from Jacinda Arden on the eve
of the first lockdown decision in New Zealand
role modelled a human approach superbly -
watch it here. Human leaders prevail.
FELT - feeling first and foremost
‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will
never forget how you made them feel.’ (Maya Angelou).
Even the toughest conversations can leave people feeling valued, respected and
heard. Leaders who openly share how they feel and demonstrate compassion
leave an aura of good feeling. Check out a brilliant pandemic example of this
from the Marriott International CEO, Arne Sorenson here.
TUNED - we learn nothing when we’re talking
Leaders who listen, deeply, are lifelong learners and get things right, so
much faster, with the support of the people they serve.
One CEO we support set up company tribes the minute the pandemic
hit for homeschoolers, live-aloners, parents of young adults, gym
missers - and more. It resulted in immediate support
networks and a way for her to hear the needs and
challenges of her people firsthand. Brilliant leaders
Leaders need to connect with both the left
and right-brain, the visual, audio and written
learners, the introverts and extraverts, the
‘thinkers’ and the ‘feelers’. If you’re a leader,
it’s essential that you mix up how you
communicate across a variety of platforms
(even those where you feel less comfortable).
There’s no one size fits all, even in a
pandemic. Creating communication that has
different colours and is accessible to all is
CHAMELEON - don’t just be
one colour and always mix it up
RESPONSIVE - everyone
has a plan until...
‘Everyone has a plan until you get
punched in the face.’ (Mike Tyson).
Being responsive as a leader is about
more than having a plan B, C and D. It’s
about responding to the human being,
the emotion, the question in front of
The leaders who are there, visible,
available always and who say, ‘right
now, I don’t know, but I’m fighting with
every fibre of my being to work it out’
have triumphed through the pandemic
(and always will).
CURIOUS - beyond the seen and heard
The definition of curiosity is to be eager to know or learn something. When we demonstrate
curiosity with our teams, colleagues or customers - it feels great for them and it unlocks
insight we would never get to otherwise.
We suggest leaders ask at least two totally open questions at the start of every conversation,
one to one or with the team. Even in the midst of challenge, make space for curiosity.
FUN - Jestology in all times
Leaders who laugh and help others to laugh create a culture of openness, learning and fun.
Fun is so much more than jokes, it’s activating the power of storysharing, connecting
through celebration, laughing through shared experience. We call it Jestology and it’s an
essential ingredient in the leadership mix, in good times and in times of challenge.
MEET THE MEMBER
Thank you for agreeing to be
interviewed for the latest Talk
Business Magazine and in this
interview, we want to get to
know the member better to
share with our readership.
What is your name?
What do you do for a living?
I’m Assistant to Michael
Plomer-Roberts MD of Mike Roberts
Property and Take Flight Aviation
What is the name of your company
or the company you work for?
I work for both Mike Roberts
Property where we own and
manage a portfolio of 10-character
commercial properties inclusive of
6 multi tenanted, fully serviced,
business centres in Warwickshire
and Take Flight Aviation where we
offer aircraft hire and flight training
up to PPL (Private Pilots Licence)
Where are you based?
Warwickshire and Oxfordshire
How would you
As Assistant to
creative MD like
Mike I would
describe my job as a heady mix of
the mundane and the inspired!
Along with generally running the
businesses; monthly invoices,
purchase ledger, service charge
management, leases, viewings,
renewals, maintenance, general
tea making I
events for the
I’m also mentor for our Apprentices
and feel very passionate about
offering educational days and work
experience to schools, colleges and
organisations like the Scouts and
Guides. We also offer charities a
thrilling way to raise awareness and
funds by completing the Loop the
Something really exciting I’m are
working on is ‘Cockpit
Conversations’, a new series on our
You Tube channel, where we take
people off the air into the air and
have a chat while flying over their home
Lockdown restrictions has slowed us down
a little but now flying is back from April
12th we’re raring to go. We have some
amazing guests lined up! Check out
previous episodes here:
How long have you been doing what you
Do you have a typical client profile and
what is it?
Mike Roberts Property would be ideal for
the business owner looking to move out of
their home office and into a more
professional space with character. A
business owner who has a larger HQ office
but looking for a regional office where they
can offer less of a commute and social
distanced working but still within a town
that caters for their staff, on the high street,
with all the amenities. Finally, larger
businesses looking to downsize, which is
more common as a result of the pandemic.
Take Flight Aviation is looking for the
aviation enthusiast; the current pilot
looking for the best hire rates and terms
out there. We have no restrictions hire, if
you need a plane for the whole day, the
weekend or even a week, Take Flight are
for you. We are also looking for the future
pilot seeking to gain their pilots licence
and be surrounded by inspirational people.
Any organisations looking to host a unique
event or offer sales incentives can find
assistance at Take Flight, and finally,
people wanting to buy that special gift, a
gift of flight!
What do you enjoy about what you do?
I love the people. I feel inspired by people
and their passions. I get that with both the
property tenants, when they’re excited
about their businesses and their teams’
successes, and the members at Take Flight
Aviation. There is something very special
about being on the ground when a student
pilot lands from their very first solo flight.
What do you do outside of work to relax
I hang out with my son and husband. We
love walking our dog Lando (our crazy
Springer Spaniel) and Hayden and I love
roller blading in the park. I’m also learning
how to play Fortnite so I can team with my
son - I was a fan of Super Mario Brothers
circa 1996 – the games are so different now
though! I love to read and listen to
podcasts. I really enjoy the gym and can’t
wait for the Body Pump class to come back
What is your favourite cake?
My favourite cake is any cake - I couldn’t
chose – they’re all too yummy! I love to
bake so there is always a cake of some sort
in the house (hence the ‘looking forward to
the gym reopening)
Tell us one
not know about
People may not
know I’m a
Scouts, and I
years’ service this year. My claim to fame is
that I was the first ‘girl’ Scout! I never
fancied girl guides and my mum was a
Scout leader. When they said girls could
join the scouts which was only for boys… I
was the first in the queue!
How can people get in touch with you or
connect with you?
We are everywhere on the socials you’d
expect to see us, so do check us out.
I can be found on LinkedIn: Hana Smiddy |
LinkedIn or you can email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the
telephone here 07432 321 615.
In an era of digital domination does print
still have purpose? In this article we take
a look at why printing is still relevant and
why marketers should use print media to
stand out from their competitors and
It is more important than ever for brands to
maintain their share of voice and to ensure
that creative communication is more
relevant and engaging than their rivals.
How can this be achieved when it is so easy
to get lost in the day-to-day competitive
world of social media and digital
This is where print cuts through the noise;
when used thoughtfully print marketing
can produce fantastic business results, and
- Consumers today constantly face more
and more information online - people are
overloaded with digital information.
“Mail is open, read or filed giving it a 94%
engagement rate, compared with an email
open rate of 20% and click through rate on
online advertising of 5-10%.” - Royal Mail
A QUESTION OF TRUST
- Print is seen as an honest, dependable
source, when compared with digital media.
The term ‘fake news’ is often banded about
with the validity of online sources often
“Print advertising is trusted by 82% of
respondents, compared to just 43% for
social media advertising.” - Marketing
PRINT GETS NOTICED
- Print is tangible, you can touch and feel it.
You can pick different materials and use
various printing techniques to provide a
sensory appeal that words on a screen just
can’t compete with.
BETTER RETENTION RATES
- Digital media is often ignored, deleted or
scrolled past but studies have shown that
consumers have better retention rates
when consuming print, coupled with this,
print is longer lasting;
“A piece of mail can remain in a home for
more than 28 days, reinforcing a message
for a month, and giving the brand presence
in the home.” - Nicky Bullard, Chairwoman
& Chief Creative Office MRM/McCann &
Royal Mail Market Reach
- Working from home has become the
norm for many, now is the ideal time to run
a targeted direct mail campaign. In
addition consent is not required from the
consumer to mail them in their own home.
WORLD LEADER IN
- The print and paper industry is a world
leader when it comes to sustainable
materials, renewable energy and recycling.
‘Go Paperless – Go Green’ is one of the
world’s biggest myths and is known as
Greenwashing. Paper remains one of the
best environmentally friendly media.
PRINT AND DIGITAL
However, having said all this there is no
denying that digital marketing is here to
stay, the best way to get results is therefore
to combine print and digital marketing.
Print can be used effectively to increase
traffic to digital channels this can be
achieved by, for example, using social
media handles on printed material, QR
codes linking to websites, unique URLs or
even SMS codes which enable potential
customers to connect online. These
techniques can lead to increased response
rates and greater tracking of leads.
Combining your digital marketing with
print creates a dynamic marketing strategy
that will reach your target audience and
deliver return on investment.
For more information about the benefits of
print, read the Why Print? white paper
produced by Prontaprint by clicking here;
For more information on Prontaprint, please visit:
www.printers.prontaprint.com or email us on
Flexible Terms, Co Working Space,
Serviced Offices, Workshops,
Storage. Ideally located near M1
Situated in Northamptonshire and it is the
perfect creative environment to work in.
E: email@example.com T: 01327 341303 W: the-depot.uk
AND WHY IS IT
DIFFERENT FROM A
BRANDING PHOTOS -
Branding photos for a TV presenter and vet based
in the Cotswolds.
For a small business owner, an online
presence is a necessity. For many business
owners who offer a personalised service,
that online presence needs to reflect the
brand values of the business.
It might be being seen as an inspiring
leader, a thoughtful advisor or teacher, a
creative artist or a dynamic coach. It might
include outstanding customer service &
care along with expert status.
The brand shows what someone stands for
and is known for, rather than just their
commercial intent or their local celebrity
status. The brand then helps immensely
with marketing, because the core values
BRANDING PHOTOS -
A few branding photos from the collection of
leadership coach Anna Jester (see also the
cover photo). There’s a consistent splash of the
same key brand colour in most of the images.
are clear, attracting ideal clients while
helping to filter out prospective clients who
aren’t a good match.
But how to best to communicate a brand?
A bespoke collection of on-brand images
that portray the whole ethos, values and
personality of the person is one way. This
is personal brand photography, and it’s
very different to a few headshots. It might
be a portfolio of over 100 professional
images that includes the person in a variety
of roles and locations, reflecting who they
are, their message, the service or products
that they sell, together with personal and
business items that have stories behind
Combined with text that clearly
communicates, these can be used to reveal
the values and journey of the person,
making them much more credible and
relatable. Marketers will recognise this
“high quality collateral”.
With the need to give websites and social
media more & more content, a collection of
images like this can be invaluable,
providing many months worth of content.
It can be tempting to use stock images, but
they are generic and not unique to a
brand. Plus there’s no consistency. To
create your own brand photography
library, a good starting point is to take
photos of the things that have been
important to your business journey.
Anything from your diary, your first
business card, the little things that inspire
you, images that match your mood, people
that helped, where you work, etc. All this
helps build the know, like and trust that is
so important to attract ideal clients.
To create the best photos of small items in
good light, put them close to a window,
but out of direct sunlight, and take a series
of photos while you have everything setup.
Layflat shots, taken from directly above, are
Perhaps get a friend or two to act as your
clients and create some photos of you
providing your service. Planning of clothes
and location are key. Getting photos of
real (and happy!) clients is a fantastic way
to accompany glowing testimonials. There
are lots of good reasons to start building a
library of images about your business.
The author, Laurence Jones, is a personal
branding photographer based in Warwickshire.If
you are in need of some personal branding
images, please get in touch:
WE INTERVIEWED CLARE SEED FROM
TIDAL TRAINING DIRECT LTD
When was the company founded?
Where is the company based?
How many staff does the company have?
A team of 10 paramedics and first
What does the company do?
Teaches workplace first aid to support HSE
requirements and to give staff the
confidence, skills and knowledge to assist
in the event of a workplace accident, injury
What is your company specialism?
High quality Ofqual regulated safe and
socially distanced face to face First Aid
training, focussing on practical skills such
as CPR how to use a defibrillator, choking
and seizures. We teach all subjects first aid
related from anaphylaxis to wound care
Do you support a charity, if so who and
how do you support the charity?
We actively support several charities and
local appeals. Our key partner is GWAAC.
Director Clare is the Co-Founder of Public
Hearts Cheltenham - raising awareness and
numbers of lifesaving defibrillators in
Cheltenham. Learn more here:
Why is the company a great company to
With over 120 5-star reviews and a
reputation for outstanding training, what
our clients reflect about us is much more
impactful than anything we could say about
ourselves! Nothing is more important than
helping some-one when they need it most
and that’s what we take the greatest pride
Give our readers an insight to what you
Here’s a poignant story of how vital
learning first aid is, read here:
What is the company vision?
To teach first aid and life saving skills to the
best of our ability to help someone when
they need it most
Where are your customers based?
(local, national, international)
England and Wales
How does the company attract new
Referrals, recommendations and renewals
As industries grapples with sporadic
sales, supply chain issues, restructures
and redundancies it is so important
that we stick together, innovate and
demonstrate inherent human values
of generosity, hope and kindness.”
There is still time and energy to
invest in people who have been
Thankfully, our industry may be
less affected than others, as
customers focus on home
improvements and renovations.”
Fisher & Paykel’s David
Woollcott launches a
not-for-profit to support
Our vision is to reduce the
personal and psychological impact
of redundancy, understand the
circumstances, give hope, show
respect and encourage
meaningful, ‘forward-facing’ steps.
After hearing of a large number of lay-offs, I was
upset and concerned so I sent out quick post to
my LinkedIn network (whilst making dinner),
offering free advice and a listening ear. By 7am
the following morning, this single post had
received 50,000+ views, countless shares from
all over the world, hundreds of heart-warming
words of encourgement and 70 requests for
call! That’s a lot of social media action for
someone who specialises in luxury appliances!
Being the MD of a growing organisation in the
UK, 60 hours per week is the normal. By 9pm
Other industries, like the Arts
and travel are having a torrid
time and have my full
sympathy. I believe the
SaddleUp! vision will work
across all industries.”
I had no idea that people, complete
strangers, would actually want to talk to
me, it was more an offer for those people
who were notified of redundancy that they
were not alone, there is a way forward and
it may be better than the role they already
that evening, I had completed 3 fascinating
video calls and was booked out until
October. The need was demonstrated by
this small activity and I was determined to
find a wider application and scale it,
quickly. The need is now and this had
quickly become my ‘side-gig.’
“WHO SAYS THAT REDUNDANCY
IS ALWAYS A BAD THING, AT
TIMES IT IS A RELIEF!”
Following a call out on LinkedIn,
appointments were booked.
By mid-August, I have completed more
than 50 calls with would-be strangers to
help them through such challenging times.
It has been an incredible experience, one
which has given way more to me than it has
taken. This is what I have spent some of my
evenings and my weekends doing.
Thanks to the first callers, I now have a
model on which I want to improve and
build on. I want to create a not-for-profit.
Already, many have found their next role
and when they write to me I cannot explain
the happiness I feel, that I was able to help
and encourage an unknown professional,
in their moment of anguish. When we help
one another, without commercial gain or
favour, it is an amazing feeling and it’s
needed now more than ever!
In 18 years, I have directly and indirectly
recruited over 300 people and am
recruiting currently so have a long history
of what stands out, what attitudes are
required and how to ‘SaddleUp!’ I cannot
sprinkle fairy dust or wave a magic wand
but it is amazing what peer-to-peer
encouragement can do; how it can
turbo-charge someone’s self esteem.
The Government is reporting record
redundancies, not seen since the GFC and
companies are planning for the end to the
furlough support arrangements. It’s an
unsettling time and we cannot rely on the
Government alone to find the solutions. It
is businesses, large and small and
individuals who will drive our economy
back to full strength but it will take some
goodwill and charity from our leaders
across all business sectors.
“In reality, we may see that our industry fairs
well as people focus on their home
environments by investing in their kitchens,
bathrooms and gardens. Afterall, the
annual trip to the Med, Cornwall and France
or further afield has been difficult if not
impossible to achieve this year. In the
meantime, companies may well shed staff
to save costs and protect their core.”
The government has spent a fortune
propping up industry and providing a
life-line to most sectors but they have
admitted that redundancies and the social
consequences will be severe in the short
term. The impact on mental health and
families is more severe still.
At this time, the strength of our industry is
in its ability to drive competitive forces for
the good of our customers, whilst sticking
together and collaborating. At Fisher &
Paykel, we understand human values
deeply and are encouraged to lean on
these at all times. If our team can commit
energy to these causes, we are more than
happy to support it.
With this thought, I decided to build a
concept for a small not-for-profit and
commit just 2 hours per week to those who
wanted to talk to me. I have nothing
special to offer, apart from having been
made redundant in the past and having
made redundancies myself, I am also a
good listener and take a deep interest in
people. What I don’t do is give advice!
Both being made redundant and making
redundancies are horrible, emotionally
draining experiences which need
supporting by peers, friends and family. I
decided I can offer this in addition to
leading the changes going on in our own
business. The weekends and evening
provided a window in my diary to connect.
The project is called ‘SaddleUp!’ It only
exists as a small communications platform
on LinkedIn and FaceBook, supported by
friends and experts who are guiding me
through and providing encouragement.
Some of my contacts and colleagues have
been incredibly generous with their time.
This isn’t my typical area of expertise! They
are all seeing the need, they get the
concept immediately and cheering me on.
Many of my friends who have been made
redundant or have suffered a career
wobble wish that they had a free, no
pressure service like this to get started.
I am not a psychologist or trained
councillor, this is important; I don’t offer
advice. But what I do focus on is listening
and steering the professional towards their
own way of thinking, their own plan and
their own future. I then try to chunk it
down into some small steps. This isn’t a
complex skill and I’m confident that I can
find the right people from all sectors to join
me, in time.
Each caller has been at a very different
stage. Some have been furious and
needed someone to vent to, I was happy to
take this call as confronting as it may be.
They can’t shout at their spouse, their
family or their friends but they can tuck into
me! Hearing the relief when they have said
what they have always want to say is
amazing, it’s the beginning of the rebuild.
During the height of the Covid-19
lockdown, pubs and restaurants were
closed, so this avenue of light
relief was also shut off.
across the table takes no pleasure in
making a redundancy. It is often a
commercial necessity to save the business
and the remaining employees.
The vision is to recruit fellow industry
leaders (or leaders outside of my industry)
who have been in a situation, which is a
reality of today’s environment. The truth is,
many learn from the experiences and go
on to do bigger and better things, look at
Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs
and millions of others…. They were all
made redundant and went on to do
My Dad was made redundant in 1980 and
went on to set up his own business, which
was successful, he wouldn’t have done this
without a letter of redundancy. I am also
much happier following my own
redundancy and want to turbo charge this
line of thinking in others.
There are between 50,000 – 100,000
people who are made redundant in any
given month in the UK. That is around
17,000 per week! It is a financial burden, a
mental health issue and a destroyer of
confidence. My vision is to tackle the
mental health issues and the damage to
self-esteem in good time to allow a bounce
back, a Saddle-Up! The economic impact
is also vast. Our ability to bounce back as a
nation and not take a set-back, a national
tragedy as a mortal wound will be
incredibly important. I want to call on
Some were pragmatic and
relaxed but just wanted a
business leader, manager or
mentor with an empathetic ear
to understand the concern and
see it impartially.
I also shared my experience of
redundancy and having made
great people redundant, both of
which were deeply unpleasant. I
think it is important to
understand that the HR Manager
or business leader who is sat
industry and civic leaders in all sectors to
engage very directly with those who are
personally impacted. This means opening
Employers are also terrible at the
redundancy and restructuring process in
my experience. It is full of litigation,
silences, fumbled communications, NDAs
and that all lead to frayed relationships
and potential PR disasters. We need to
understand the human element and treat
each other as equals, as humans. There is
fear on side of the employer as well as on
the side of the employee. I can’t think of a
more artificial, in-humane process from
employers who were once your biggest
supporter. No wonder it feels like a
Long term, I would like to see wider and
longstanding IR and employment reform
where a redundancy process is outlined
before someone is employed.
Competitive and comparative forces will
be then be set up to drive improvements.
Fisher & Paykel has a strong social focus
and an even stronger set of human values.
We apply this to our customers and our
SaddleUp! has its own LinkedIn page and
Facebook page but remains in its infancy.
David is working with his contacts and
friends pro bono to build a website
quickly to expand the reach of this free of
charge service. The limits will be my time,
so I need to recruit a team of ‘Saddlers’
from different industry sectors willing to
give up 2 hours of their week.
If you want more information about SaddleUp! find
out more on LinkedIn:
Keep up to date: https://bit.ly/2Qicc2X
- A peer to peer, human to human call
where the Saddler listens to someone in
their approximate industry who has just
been made redundant.
- Experiences and insights are shared,
empathy is shown and a relationship of
mutual respect, encouragement and hope
- The Saddler can also review past
employment, LinkedIn profiles and CVs
and provide a few hints and tips to get
started and become slowly future
- SaddleUp shows that leaders across a
wide category of industry sectors cares for
its people, supports them in challenging
times and understands human frailties.
- SaddleUp also respects companies who
have had to make difficult decisions
- SaddleUp isn’t medical or psychological
and shouldn’t be presented as such.
- SaddleUp doesn’t generate revenue or
refer to businesses who charge fees, it isn’t
a pool for recruiters.
- SaddleUp doesn’t provide fixed advice or
More research, more fact finding and more
calls. As it exists at the moment, it is
working and of great value for some
people who I am connected with and that’s
good enough for me.
Ultimately, I believe in a bigger topic, a
wider conversation and more decisive
action from each and every one of our
business and civic leaders across the
country and would love to think that
SaddleUp! could be the inspiration.
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A staggering 17.2 million Brits
have turned their attention to
online shopping in recent times
and it’s a trend that shows no
signs of slowing down.
At Stratford Storage and Distribution (SSD)
we have seen a significant increase in
enquiries and new customers in the
Ecommerce space. It’s an exciting time, for
new and existing online sellers, but the
complexities and jargon can also feel like
a blocker - luckily, we are here to keep it
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Opportunities in Ecommerce, also known
as electronic commerce or internet
commerce, have never been greater yet in
other ways more complicated - including
the confusing Brexit import and export red
tape and the rising costs and limitations to
using fulfilment centres, such as Amazon.
THERE ARE FOUR MAIN TYPES
If you’re just starting out, the first step is
knowing what products you want to sell
and it’s quite easy to feel like you’re in a
‘sweet shop’ but there’s a few key
questions to ask yourself, to ensure you
create a product offering that’s timely,
relevant and meaningful:
- What products, niches or industry are
you particularly passionate about or
- What products, niches or industries are
your friends passionate about?
- What pain points do you have in your
Start-up’s in particular often don’t factor in
storage, both in terms of cost and capacity
(often your living space!) You’ll need to
think about where your product is being
taken once it has been dispatched to you
from the supplier – your home, office, lock
up or unit? All of these options have
overheads and may also not be the most
For existing sellers, planning to ensure you
can scale quickly for your business is key,
to ensure you have greater capacity for
both permanent or intermediary space
between your product arriving and going
to a fulfilment centre, such as Amazon.
What does fulfilment mean? In essence it’s
the process that ensures your orders leave
where they are stored, in the way that fits
with your offering. It’s important to think
about using a partner who understands
your fulfilment needs - via an easy process,
on time, in great condition and presented
in a way that represents your brand. If you
are existing seller make sure your provider
is able to easily integrate with your
existing platforms; at SSD the Mintsoft
platform meaning sellers can check their
stock in real time, customise their brand
The most important outcome is that orders
are delivered on time, whether it’s to a
fulfilment centre or directly into the hands
of your customers.
If you are a start-up you might have
already spent time queuing at the Post
Office - not ideal if you want to grow the
business and get the best rates for
distribution! Make sure you work with a
partner who gives you great
accountability, with full tracking and proof
of delivery; we think this is absolutely key
to ensuring that your customers get a
great service, and you get peace of mind.
For those operating on a larger scale, from
platforms such as Amazon, QVC and Ebay,
SSD are able to ‘Fulfil By Merchant’ (FBM)
to your customer.
Our experience means we know the areas
that sellers, new and existing, can get
stuck on. Our approach means we can flex
and work with you on your journey, to
grow, scale and everything in between!
Talk to us about how we can support you,
so you get your products into the hands of
your customers in time, cost effect and
stress-free way – you can also download a
copy of our Get Started In Ecommerce
April marks our 5th Birthday – join us over
on our social channels to celebrate!
If you want more information about SSD, you can
visit the website:
www.ssd.uk.net, or call 01789 777 905 and email
A leading independent firm of chartered
accountants in Stratford-upon-Avon, working
with clients across Warwickshire, the wider
Midlands and beyond.
DAFFERNS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS
www.dafferns.com - 02476 221 046 - email@example.com
LEIGH CHRISTOU LTD, ACCOUNTANTS
www.leigh-christou.co.uk - 01926 888 865 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Burgis & Bullock, Warwickshire
Bernard Rogers & Co, Kenilworth & Stratford
Grenfell James Associates, Warwickshire
Murphy Salisbury, Warwickshire
CORSTORPHINE & WRIGHT ARCHITECTS
www.corstorphine-wright.com - 01926 658 444 - email@example.com
RICKETT ARCHITECTS & PLANNING CONSULTANTS
www.rickett.co.uk - 01926 291 010 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stolwood Architects, Stratford-upon-Avon
Arts and Culture
Motionhouse, Leamington Spa
01789 299076 | email@example.com
01926 422 292
01242 312 121
www.nephosaccounting.co - 01242 260590 - firstname.lastname@example.org
SMART BUSINESS RECOVERY LIMITED
www.smartbusinessrecovery.co.uk - 01926 969 000 - email@example.com
07739 420 360
Get a competitive edge with creative design.
Neil Morgan Design offers independent
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07737 551006 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Goldcrest Cleaning Ltd, Warwick
Thorne Coaching, West Midlands
01926 429 435
Helping successful people become brilliant
leaders through executive coaching,
leadership development and leadership
07802 294 857 | email@example.com
07930 147 799
01926 717 911
07968 358 961
Will Marr & Co Ltd, Banbury
01926 800 710
AUBURN COACHING & CONSULTANCY
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www.lingardconsulting.co.uk - 07711 009 393 - email@example.com
SJM SOLUTIONS - BUSINESS SUPPORT
www.mytonhospice.org - 07771 266 418
UNIQUE & INCLUSIVE WELLBEING
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Action Coach Business Coaching, Warwick
Better Normal Ltd, Warwick
Brave Scene, Warwickshire
Risk Quality Solutions, Oxfordshire
Tantamount (Creative Agency), Coventry
SSD Limited are a multi-talented family
business offering storage, fulfilment and
distribution services. We pride ourselves on our
professional and client focussed approach.
01789 777905 | email@example.com | ssd.uk.net
07850 665 932
THE INDEPENDENT ASSOCIATION OF PREP SCHOOLS
www.iaps.uk - 01926 887 833 - firstname.lastname@example.org
RightStep, Leamington Spa
Stratford-Upon-Avon College, Warwickshire
Warwickshire College Group, Warwickshire
Your total business finance provider. With
access to over 40 UK lenders, we provide
quality finance solutions to businesses
across the country.
www.pinkconnect.com - 0345 450 9393 - email@example.com
01789 336 318
01242 312 121
01242 312 121 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Point Me To, Solihull
True Potential Wealth Management, Coventry
Zenith Cost Consultancy, Leamington Spa
First Aid Training
JMP is an independent insurance broker
based in the heart of Cheltenham offering
competitive insurance for all commercial and
01242 898 387 | email@example.com
01926 732 044
02476 232 622
07794 412 775
Tidal Training Direct Ltd are trusted and
gold standard first aid training and
education providers throughout England
01242 371 799 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Aubrey Allez, Leamington Spa
Dallas Burston Polo Club, Southam
We’re a creative, strategic
Business Services Agency,
providing services across
the whole HR function
from recruitment, HR,
Organisation Design and
Development and L&D.
07789 221 195
07429 390 430
01242 500 557
KIRSTY LILLEY, MINDFULNESS TRAINER
07852 251 805 - email@example.com
VOXXLIFE WEARABLE NEUROTECH
ourhealth.voxxlife.com - 07976 158 961 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Caremark Warwick, Leamington Spa
Concierge Medical, Warwick
Illuminate VR Services Ltd, Warwickshire
STRATFORD PARK HOTEL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
www.thestratfordpark.co.uk - 01789 731 857 - email@example.com
WOOTTON PARK, EVENTS AND BUSINESS CENTRE
www.woottonpark.co.uk - 01564 330 350 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilton, Warwickshire & Stratford-Upon-Avon
Warwick School Venue and Events, Warwick
MORRISON INSURANCE SOLUTION
www.morrisoninsurance.co.uk - 01789 766 888 - email@example.com
EML Insurance Brokers, Stratford Upon Avon
WPA Healthcare Practice, Gloucester
WPA Healthcare Practice, Stratford Upon Avon
Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Warwickshire
01926 356 000
01926 883 010
MOORE & TIBBITS SOLICITORS
qualitysolicitors.com - 01926 491 181 - firstname.lastname@example.org
www.shma.co.uk - 01789 416 400 - email@example.com
Harper James Solicitors, Sheffield
Hughes Legal Limited, Warwickshire
Lodders Solicitors, Gloucestershire
Spratt Endicott Solicitors, Oxfordshire
WSP Solicitors, Gloucestershire
Since 1959 Vitsœ has made long-living
furniture, always striving to be better rather
than newer, for the many people who share
a profound interest in all of our tomorrows.
01926 936 606 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.vitsoe.com/gb
01926 430 510
07841 577 876 - www.blissmarketing.co.uk - email@example.com
GLUED - THE BUSINESS OF BRANDING
www.gluedlimited.co.uk - 07787 557 197 - firstname.lastname@example.org
THE M GURU
www.themguru.co.uk - tel:07958 478 590 - email@example.com
Footprint Social Media, Stratford Upon Avon
Public Marketing Communications, Leamington Spa
YouNeek Productions, Warwickshire
MATT MADDEN PHOTOGRAPHY
www.mattmadden.photography - 07876 022 498 - firstname.lastname@example.org
SAM STEVENS MEDIA
www.samstevensmedia.co.uk - 07989 301 213 - email@example.com
Avon Studios Photography, Warwickshire
I am a very experienced Advertising,
Commercial and Portrait photographer
working for advertising agencies, designers
and direct clients. specialising in portraits,
lifestyle and tourism .
01608 695050 | firstname.lastname@example.org
01527 313 250
JOHN CLEARY PHOTOGRAPHY
johnclearyphotography.co.uk - 01926 271 128 - email@example.com
www.grantcf.co.uk - 01789 730 380 - firstname.lastname@example.org
DAVIDSON PERT FINANCIAL ASSOCIATES LTD
A Senior Partner Practice of St. James's Place Wealth Management
MIKE ROBERTS PROPERTY
mikerobertsproperty.com - 01676 532 414 - email@example.com
Hygenie Ltd, Nuneaton
Lighting Solutions Plus, Stratford upon Avon
We work closely with all of our clients,
building a relationship based on trust
and an in-depth understanding of their
The Rosconn Group, Warwickshire
07966 388 808 | www.davidsonpert.co.uk
The Gardensmith, Gloucestershire
THE JOB GURU
www.thejobguru.co.uk - 01242 644 344 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Excelerate Resources finds people for people.
Through our partnerships we work locally and
internationally in all sectors. We have long-term
relationships with employers and candidates,
supported by our networking. A small and
experienced team always happy to chat.
01926 747 606 | email@example.com
iPlus Sales are experts in sales lead generation
through both online and offline activity in B2B and
B2C. As a company we are agile and adaptive to the
needs of our clients, our approach a blend of sales
and marketing to provide a comprehensive solution.
01242 312 121 | firstname.lastname@example.org
01242 300 288
01676 532 414
EVOLVE GLOBAL SOLUTIONS LTD
evolveglobal.co.uk - 07496 548 382 - email@example.com
UP FRONT TRAINING AND COACHING
www.uftraining.co.uk - 07795 474 074 - firstname.lastname@example.org
First Impressions Training, Stratford Upon Avon
Purple Monster, Leamington Spa
NOT JUST TRAVEL
bobgrace.notjusttravel.com - 07484 284 877 - email@example.com
RH Utilities Ltd, Warwickshire
02477 752 772
02476 158 448
01789 416 990
We design and devekop WordPress
website that show the world how awesome
your business is. With over 10 years
experience, we are commited to
supporting local Warickshire businesses.
BLUE SQUIRREL SOFTWARE
www.blue-sq.co.uk - 01386 800 350 - firstname.lastname@example.org
01789 330 270 | email@example.com
GOODWILL AND GROWTH FOR AFRICA UK
www.gaga-uk.org - 01789 414 088 - firstname.lastname@example.org
HEART OF ENGLAND COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk - 024 7688 3266 - email@example.com
HEART OF ENGLAND MENCAP
heartofenglandmencap.org.uk - 01789 298 709 - firstname.lastname@example.org
THE LEUKAEMIA AND INTENSIVE CHEMOTHERAPY FUND
www.lincfund.org - 07900 433 166 - email@example.com
THE MYTON HOSPICES
www.mytonhospice.org - 01926 838 815 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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£15pm or £150 for 12 issues.
FOR OUR BASIC LISTING
prices from £10pm or £100 for 12 issues
Or this listing is Free, with no web link
THE STORY OF THE IMAGE.
Our cover image this month is Talk Business Member Anna Jester’s. This image is
part of her recent branding photography for her business Jester Consulting.
Photo taken by Laurence Jones photography Talk Business member